New condo at Kingston/Birchcliff Ave.

Nov 2, 2017

Houses to be demolished at Kingston Rd. and Birchcliff Ave. to make way for condo.

Houses to be demolished at Kingston Rd. and Birchcliff Ave. to make way for condo.

The buildings have been painted white and scrub brush is being cleared at the southeast corner of Kingston Rd. and Birchcliff Ave. in preparation for Birch Cliff’s latest condominium project, which should go on sale in early 2018.

It’s a 52-unit, three-and-a-half storey stacked townhome complex that’s being built on the current site of the soon-to-be relocated Birchmount Residence homeless shelter as well as the four houses to the west of the shelter.

The south side of that stretch of Kingston Rd. is currently run down and is located directly opposite the heritage building now occupied by The House and Garden Co.

Birchcliff Townhomes - Exterior Rendering

Rendering of the new stacked townhomes to be built at Kingston Rd. and Birchcliff Ave. Looking southeast.

According to the site plan application submitted to the City of Toronto, the new development will have underground parking that will accessed from Birchcliff Ave. at the south end of the property.

It will also have a central courtyard, outdoor amenity space, balconies and rooftop terraces.

Ken Wilcox, development manager at Core Development Group, described the project as “a sensitive piece of urban infill” that will “contribute to the character of Birch Cliff.

Ken Wilcox

Ken Wilcox

“We’ve worked hard with the architect  to try to get something that we think really fits well into the neighbourhood,” Wilcox said.  “I think the materials that we’ve chosen are sensitive to the area. I want to pick up on some of the colours that are on the heritage building across the street.

Wilcox added that since the building is only three-and-a-half storeys it won’t cause a negative shadow impact on the north side of the street.

Olivia Peters, owner of The Birchcliff Coffee Bar across the street, tweeted her approval.

Rendering of the courtyard of new townhome project at Kingston Rd. and Birchcliff Ave.

Rendering of the courtyard of new townhome project at Kingston Rd. and Birchcliff Ave.

Crawford: “Wonderful for the community”

“I think compared to what was there, having that whole little strip redeveloped is wonderful for the community,” said Ward 36 Councillor, Gary Crawford, noting that the Birchmount Residence was falling apart and almost uninhabitable. “Those other three homes had either been vacant or had renters in them and they hadn’t been conducive to a nice community over the past few years,” Crawford added.

Crawford acknowledged that new development often comes with growing pains in terms of more cars in the area and increased traffic and said “we have to figure out how to develop that”.

Gary Crawford“Change is difficult.  We understand that.  But I think when you’re looking at the overall benefits to the community, it will be positive for the walkability and the sense that this is a community.  People want to live in Birch Cliff.  They want to live here for a reason and a lot of these condos are giving people an opportunity to downsize.  They want to stay in the community.”

Developer expects “end users”, not investors

The architect on the project is Roland Rom Colthoff of Raw Design, a firm that Wilcox described as “a very experienced and award-winning architect firm” with “a ton of experience designing low rise and mid-rise urban infill projects”.

“We’re expecting a mix of downsizers from the area and also some first time home buyers as well who may be coming from outside of the area but maybe from the area as well, maybe they may have grown up in the area or are familiar with the area. Overall we’re expecting purchasers to be end users as opposed to investors and we expect that they’re mostly going to be from the surrounding area,” Wilcox said.

Core Development is the same company that’s purchased half a block of property on the north side of Kingston Rd. between Warden Ave. and Manderley Dr., to build a mid-rise condo.  The transition led to a local controversy between the company and the owner of The Salvage Shop.

The site plan application was submitted in July and is in the planning approval phase.

No rezoning is required because it meets the requirements of the city’s Official Plan as well as the Kingston Road Revitalization Study.

Wilcox anticipates that demolition will begin in fall 2018.

3 Comments

  1. Chris Belfontaine

    What a total load of nonsense. Vital parts of our community are being acquired by nameless, faceless land speculators who first purchase, then allow viable sections of our main street, Kingston Road, to fall into a calculated state of disrepair. Then they present themselves as the saviors of our run down neighbourhoods by shoving their plans for unsuitable infill over-builds up our noses. All with the blessing of Toronto council under the pretense of much needed improvements and revitalization.
    How this or those other projects under weigh along Kingston Road are supposed to improve mine or any other community is a mystery to me. This is the classic case of the ‘camels nose poking into the tent’ that will soon be followed by more and larger ridiculous neighbourhood destroying revitalizations. If people want to live here let them buy a house like we and our parents did. Revitalization is fast becoming a dirty word in Scarborough.

  2. Michael Marmoreo

    Really nice to see the street being cleaned up and all those old buildings go. New residences are great addition to our neighborhood and will help make the community better.

  3. Ian Harvey

    Every community goes through this.
    It is bittersweet. Hard to say goodbye to the familiar which has always been part of the fabric but exciting to see new life coming in.
    The fact is that the businesses along the strip have struggled because there really isn’t enough consistent traffic. There are some exceptions but what we need are more homes for more people.
    It means there will be kids for Birchcliff PS. It means foot traffic for the stores and our parks and for Phyllis Griffiths Centre.
    The designs seem interesting enough and aren’t just glass or stone boxes. They have features which I would argue are desirable.
    Roland is a great architect and I know his work and he has sensitivity for the neighbourhood. This doesn’t appear to be a cookie cutter slam bam throw it up and sell it job.
    What we need is a shot in the arm to revitalize Birchcliff. I’ve been here 40 years and it’s getting a little tired….and as we’ve seen, many of the homes around here have been getting renovated tot he point they’re cracking well over the $1 million selling point.
    And I must say many of them are wonderful. I almost wish I could take another crack at a second and third storey addition. I did mine in 1983, having bought in 1981, if only I had the benefit of those design references then along with some of the more modern structural technologies.
    As it was I based my design on those townhouses on the southeast corner of Birchmount and Kingston Road.
    If you look around you’ll see there have been all kinds of developments like those townhouses which were built and sold around 1982. The change is noticeable at first but then become part of our landscape and our community.
    I welcome this development and I look forward to seeing what Core plans for the strip of stores east of Warden on the north side. I only wish they could get all the seven or so property owners on the same page to redevelop the entire site, including the Church’s right of way through the back.
    Let’s not also forget all those condo developments marching up Kingston Road from Victoria Park.

    Bichcliff is changing. Everything changes..let’s welcome the investment and work with the parties so we all benefits instead of fighting.

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